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Webster Parish Schools proposals on April 27 ballot: What voters need to know

by Amber McDown

The upcoming Municipal General Election on April 27, 2024, holds significant importance for Webster Parish schools, with three key propositions on the ballot. These proposals aim to renew millages and issue bonds crucial for supporting public education in the parish. Here’s a breakdown of the propositions:

Parishwide School District Proposition (Millage Renewal): The Webster Parish School District seeks to renew a special tax of 2.81 mills on all taxable property in the district. This tax, estimated to generate $743,102 annually, will provide essential support for maintaining and operating public schools across the parish, covering expenses such as cleaning supplies and fire alarm testing. The renewal period spans 10 years, from 2026 to 2035.

Springhill School District No. 8 Proposition No. 1 (Millage Continuation): Residents of Springhill School District No. 8 will decide on continuing a special tax of 7.69 mills, estimated to yield $328,450 annually. This levy, also for a duration of 10 years from 2025 to 2034, includes a .60 mills increase due to reappraisal. 

Springhill School District No. 8 Proposition No. 2 (Bond): The Springhill School District No. 8 proposes issuing bonds not exceeding $11,000,000, with a maximum 20-year term and interest rate not exceeding 7% per annum. The purpose of these bonds is to finance capital expenditures for school purposes, including repairs, upgrades, and improvements. The bonds will be payable from ad valorem taxes, with an estimated increase of 12.75 mills in the first year above the current 28.50 mills being levied.

The capital would be used for much needed repairs and upgrades to the two elementary schools in Springhill: Browning Elementary and Brown Upper Elementary. Both schools have serious roof issues that have gone years with patch jobs, and both schools need more parking. Beyond this, there is a need for new windows, awnings, woodwork, and paint.

This money would also be used to make improvements to the athletic facilities at North Webster High School. The facilities there were not updated when the new school was built over a decade ago. Projects include upgrading the running track, which the school and community use, building a new field house and adding some visitors’ restrooms and concession area for the football program, as well as renovating the backstops, restrooms, and concession area at the baseball/softball facilities.

Superintendent Rowland and the Webster Parish School Board are urging voters to support these propositions, emphasizing the critical need for these improvements in Springhill. 

On election day, April 27, the polls are open from 7 AM to 8 PM. Voters are encouraged to participate in this election to support the improvement of education and facilities in Webster Parish schools.

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